Ultimate Oven Fried BBQ Chicken Quarters

So this past Memorial weekend we were at a cookout where they had a ton of food (great folks and great food).  One of the foods there was grilled BBQ chicken.  Sadly I didn’t get any because I already had a bunch on my plate and didn’t to be that person that stacks food up super high on a single plate. I figured if I was still hungry after I finished my plate I could always go back.  Well the evening went on, good times ensued and I kind of forgot about that bbq chicken.  Trust me, I was super bummed.  So the next day that’s all I kept thinking about was how I was seriously craving it.  HOWEVER there’s just one small problem.  I STILL don’t have a damn bbq.  Yes, if you’ve been a long time follower this has been the biggest argument Mr. Fantabulous and I have to this day.  It’s one of those topics we no longer discuss –  kind of like how some people are about politics or religion (again 2 topics I don’t discuss).


Now for those that are new to the TKW family let me give you a high level overview of the bbq debate in our house.  I want one, he doesn’t.  Now it’s not a matter of affording it but rather HE is a stubborn donkey (love you baby) and feels that HE can just make me one out of the 5,000 brick we have lying out behind the shed.  Yes 5,000 brick (from the current remodeling job that was supposed to ‘only take 3 months honey’ that is going on 7 years now). Yeah, another sore spot.  ANYWAY he said that he would build me an outdoor grill with the help of my brother (he is a masonry genius). Yeah.. that promise is um… 8 years old now?  And every grill season the topic comes to light and another week long argument arises.  I’m part German thus part stubborn.  He’s Italian and EXTREMELY STUBBORN.  LOL

Now Mr. Fantabulous must have been jonesin’ (where does that terminology come from? Anyone know?) for some more bbq chicken as he made a comment about how good it was and that he hadn’t had it in forever.  I bite my tongue because the first thing I wanted to say was “WELL if you were so stubborn and we bought a BBQ instead of having to wait for pretty much the next century you COULD have it as often as you want you stubborn donkey” but I didn’t cause again Mama always said to pick your battles.  And while I wanted one I didn’t need one. Seriously I could go out today and buy one but I took it as a challenge in the kitchen.


The challenge being create awesome bbq chicken that well isn’t made on the grill BUT had the same awesome flavor. One of the hardest components to recreate in an oven is that smokey flavor.  Now this can be done 2 days – create your own oven smoker with soaked wood chips and other items (I’ll show you how in a future post) and liquid smoke.  The wood chips are awesome BUT with my being asthmatic it does emit smoke indoors and if you don’t have a commercial exhaust fan, it can be bothersome. This round I opted for liquid smoke which I love. But be forewarned.. if you’ve never used it start off with a wee amount in your recipe as it is potent.


Now unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to make the chicken that day I was craving it due to my cutting the grass and forgetting to take my allergy pills and putting in my eye drops.  By the time I was done 3 hours later my eyes were pretty much swollen shut, I couldn’t stop sneezing, sniffling or wheezing.  I looked like I was in a cage fight with Mike Tyson and lost.  Yeah we’re talking I was THAT sexy!  LOL  Now don’t comment how Mr. Fantabulous should have done it as he would in a heartbeat but while I do the land he does the weed whacking.  4-6 hours at a time of weed whacking.  That honestly is much harder than my butt sitting on a tractor.  Plus it’s my own fault for not taking my meds. If I take them then I’m fine with just slight sneezing and sniffling.   UltimateOvenBBQChickenLegQuarters4
So the next day I had every intention of making bbq chicken BUT I had to cut the grass again on a lower setting but this time I took my meds so I wasn’t in allergy hell BUT…

yes, there’s a but. After another 3 hours on the tractor (6 hours total in 2 days) I felt like I was mule kicked in the back.  Like seriously I could barely walk. Apparently it jarred something in my back and took He-Man to pop it back into place. However once it was back in place it was pretty much instantaneous that the pain disappeared. Thus I had to wait 3 days to make this.  If you’ve ever had a craving and then had to wait 3 days to satisfy it you honestly think you’re in the worst hell ever.  Well okay that may only apply if you’re a foodie but I’m pretty sure if you’re on my site and in the TKW family you’re a foodie.  UltimateOvenBBQChickenLegQuarters5a


Finally after getting my back taken care of I was able to stop at the butchers, pick up the most gorgeous chicken leg quarters and FINALLY make me some bbq chicken. I was going to go the route of how I make my oven fried wings (that are KILLER) but truthfully I didn’t want to wait. There are days when the stomach rules over time. The first rule of thumb when making chicken is to rinse with cold water and then pat dry.  By having it dry allows the salt and spices to stick to it.  Now normally when you grill chicken the skin tends to get crispy and charred.  Since I wasn’t doing the wing method I had to figure out some way to help it along.  I opted with a pan sear, skin-side down just to help crisp up the skin a bit.

Next since I knew I wanted to bake it I went with the baking pan lined with foil (trust me this is the best way as you almost never have to clean the pan) and place a cooling rack on top.  By doing so it allows for the underside of the chicken to cook and crisp up plus it doesn’t stick to the foil when it bakes.  I HATE when that happens as you tend to lose food that way.


I slathered on a bit of bbq sauce, baked it for about 20 minutes, added some more sauce and baked some more.  At that point it was pretty much done but it didn’t have quite the bbq look.  You know what I’m talking about… that char you get from the grill.  To get this I slathered on the last bit of sauce and cranked up the oven for about 8-10 minutes. The sugars in the bbq sauce caramelized beautifully on the skin and allowed that smokey goodness from the liquid smoke to shine through.  Now the real test was the taste.  I mean you can make bbq chicken in the oven BUT the key is to get it to taste like outdoor from a real BBQ (THAT I DON’T STILL HAVE…grrr).

I plated our chicken to which I was initially met with a very puzzled look.  It looks like grilled bbq chicken.  That look immediately was followed with a snap of the neck to look outside onto our patio to see if I purchased a grill and was hiding it from him.  Wait….hmmmm… could I do that?  Buy a grill and hide it?  I wonder.  Oh I know!  I bet if I bought one and hide it in a cover that looked like a vacuum sweeper he’d never see it as he has ZERO clue apparently where the sweeper is.  LOL  He’s so going to beat my butt for this post btw!  Love you baby *wink*.

Now I *think* Mr. Fantabulous commented on his food while he ate but honestly after I took that first bite all I heard were angels singing and harps playing.  I’m telling you what folks this is hands down the BEST BBQ chicken I have ever, EVER had.  I mean I’m talking even better than bbq chicken made on a grill.  You HAVE to make this!

And while you’re at it, send me a bbq!  LOL

Ultimate Oven Fried BBQ Chicken Quarters


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  • 4 chicken leg quarters *See notes on how to cook bone in breasts and drum sticks
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Sticky Thick Honey BBQ Sauce or Cowboy BBQ Sauce *note if using the honey bbq, add in 1 tsp of liquid smoke
  1. Preheat oven to 375F, rack in the middle.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a cooling rack.
  3. Spray the cooling rack with non-stick spray and set aside.
  4. Rinse the chicken leg quarters in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Place the quarters on a plate and season the skin side with salt and pepper.
  6. In a large stainless steel or cast iron pan over medium heat add in olive until it begins to shimmer.
  7. Carefully add in 1-2 quarters skin side down and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. It may smoke so if you have an exhaust fan, use it. Do not try and move the chicken too soon otherwise you’ll tear the skin off.
  8. Place the legs from the pan onto the cooling rack, crispy skin side down.
  9. Repeat the above steps to cook the remaining leg quarters.
  10. Brush on some of the bbq sauce on the leg quarters, flip and repeat to coat the skin side. You’ll use only about 1/3 of your sauce here.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven.
  12. Flip the legs brushing more sauce on the underneath of the legs, flipping skin-side-up and brushing on more sauce. You’ll use another 1/3 of your sauce here.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes.
  14. Remove from the oven, crank the heat to 450F and brush on the remaining bbq sauce to both sides leaving the skin side up.
  15. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has turned deep in color and appears almost charred.
  16. Insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the leg (but not touching bone). You want the temp to be 165F.
  17. Remove from the oven and plate.
  18. Allow to cool for a few minutes before chowing down as the sauce will be super hot!
To cook drumsticks, pan sear all skin sides until crispy ~8-10 minutes.
Brush on the sauce and bake for 15 minutes.
Flip and brush on more sauce, baking for 20 minutes.
Insert thermometer and test for temp to be 165F.

To cook bone in breasts, pan sear skin side until crispy ~10-12 minutes.
Brush on the sauce and bake for 20 minutes.
Flip and brush on more sauce, bake for 20.
Flip and brush on more sauce, bake for 20 minutes.
Insert thermometer and test for temp to be 165F.

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7 Responses to “Ultimate Oven Fried BBQ Chicken Quarters”

  • Amy Shelton says:

    I have been coming back to this recipe for about a year now. I am horrible at using the grill for anything but hot dogs and veggie foil packs. I love BBQ chicken but hate “rubber” chicken skin. I’d never thought to pan sear the chicken first. Although searing adds an extra step and a dirt pan, it’s so very worth it. I make my own BBQ sauce and get requests for “That crispy bbq chicken you make in the oven” at least once a week. I have to add that my husband and daughter greatly dislike chicken, but with this chicken the pan is always empty.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Amy!

      I’m with you on rubbery chicken. This recipe also works really well on chicken breasts (skin on and with the bone). It’s so flavorful! So happy that your husband and daughter love this! Thank you so much!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • karen says:

    Not worth pan frying first. Skin gets soggy

  • Shanna says:

    This recipe was AWESOME!!!
    I’m from south Louisiana and we sure like a lot of flavor and most recipes I find on Pinterest look delicious and turn out too bland a lot of times. This was perfect! I didn’t make the BBQ sauce I just used kraft and Tony’s instead of salt and pepper. So glad I have a delicious way to eat cheap leg quarters!!!

  • Rod says:

    “jonesin'” A word used to describe an intense craving for a drug. Comes from Great Jones Street in New York City, between Broadway and Lafayette Street, a former junkie hangout.

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